28 January 2010

John 19 - See! Here's the man

< John 18 | Index | John 20 >

In John 19, Pilate's attempts to release Yahshua come to nothing. This chapter covers Pilate's final attempts to save his life, his eventual crucifixion, Yahshua with Pilatehis death, and his burial in the rock-hewn tomb.

Pilate has Yahshua flogged and ridiculed, then shows him to the crowd again to demonstrate that he can find absolutely no reason to charge him with any offence requiring death. Perhaps he thought that this lesser punishment would satisfy them. But they shout and yell for crucifixion. Pilate retorts, 'Crucify him yourselves, I can't find any reason to do so.' But when they tell him that Yahsua had claimed to be the Son of the Almighty, Pilate is very afraid. The Lord actually helps him out at this point, he explains that Pilate's guilt is less than that of the Jewish leaders. And after that Pilate kept trying to release him but in the end was given little choice and handed him over to the execution squad.

It seems that Pilate continued to have some sympathy towards this extraordinary man who did not deserve to die. He wrote 'King of the Jews' on the sign over the cross and refused to change it. He gave permission for the body to be taken down and buried in a rich man's tomb.

There is very little I need write about this chapter, I suggest reading it again because it speaks for itself. In fact, I'd encourage everyone to read chapters 18 and 19 again right through as they really do belong together.

I hope that by focussing on Pilate's part in the events I will have helped you see afresh how very determined the Jewish leaders were to do away with Yahshua. They were extraordinarily angry with him, they were in such a frothing rage that that were competely unable to see the truth. And it was staring them in the face! They crucified the only man who had ever performed the three Messianic Miracles - curing a Jewish leper, casting out a demon from a dumb man, and healing a man blind from birth. By their own requirements he had to be the Messiah!

The question remains, what are we going to do with this man, Yahshua (Jesus)? We can reject him like the Jewish leaders. We can love him like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. We can follow him like John, Peter, Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea. We can think that perhaps he is right, certainly that he is innocent, yet like Pilate find it far too costly to abandon our responsibilities in order to follow him.

We must all make a choice. The one thing we cannot do with Yahshua of Nazareth, the King of Israel, is ignore him. Everything he claimed about himself is true! He demonstrated it beyond any doubt for those with open eyes, ears, and minds - then, and today.

And in the next chapter of John we read how he demonstrated it one more time, by rising from the grave and proving that even death could not hold him.

< John 18 | Index | John 20 >

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